That’s the advice my father gave to me, when I first found myself in debt up to my eyeballs. I thought he simply didn’t understand. I explained, as patiently as I could, that things like cable TV and renting videos were necessities – not luxuries. I explained how I simply needed more money, and since I worked for him, it was his responsibility to pay me more so I could maintain my standard of living.
He patiently explained that “when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is to stop digging.” There’s no way to spend yourself out of debt. I learned the truth of that, unfortunately, the hard way. “Making do” became a part of my vocabulary, just as “discretionary income” and “charge it” became a thing of the past.
Here’s the problem…when it’s just you – or you, your wife, and your kids – it’s not that difficult to get everybody on board the “let’s watch every penny” train. When you’re a nation, not so much, if only because a lot of the people that are the beneficiaries of “tax and spend” policies vote. Continue reading The first thing you do, is to stop digging.